Antigone Canada’s Pick for Academy Awards
(September 24, 2019 – Montréal, Quebec) Telefilm Canada has announced that Sophie Deraspe’s 2019 film Antigone will represent Canada in the race for Best International Feature Film (formerly Best Foreign Language Film) at the 92nd Academy Awards.
“We are extremely proud of the calibre and quality of the 16 films submitted to the Selection Committee this year, and equally proud to say that nine of them were directed or co-directed by women,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “Our priority now is to celebrate and encourage the team behind Antigone as they begin the exciting race for the Best International Feature Film Oscar. This is a unique opportunity to showcase Canadian talent on the international stage, and we are delighted to be providing support as a frontline partner in this great adventure.”
“Bringing Antigone to the Oscar race is not only a huge honour, it’s also a way for me to highlight the values of empathy, artistry and integrity, which Canadian films exemplify so well,” said writer-director Sophie Deraspe.
Antigone had its World Premiere at the 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival, where it was given the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film.
As of September 19, 61 countries had submitted their nominations for the Best International Feature Film, including the France-Qatar-Germany-Canada-Palestine-Turkey coproduction It Must Be Heaven by Elia Suleiman, submitted by Palestine, and the Cuban entry A Translator by Rodrigo Barriuso and Sebastián Barriuso, which is a Cuban-Canadian co-venture. Last year, 87 countries contended.
In the history of the Oscars, eight Canadian films have been official nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category: in 2013, Rebelle by Kim Nguyen; in 2012, Monsieur Lazhar by Philippe Falardeau and In Darkness by Agniebska Holland (a minority coproduction with Poland and Germany); in 2011, Incendies by Denis Villeneuve; and, in 2007, Water by Deepa Mehta. The list also includes three films by Denys Arcand: Le Déclin de l’empire américain in 1987, Jésus de Montréal in 1990 and, in 2004, Les Invasions barbares, the only Canadian film to have won the Oscar in this category.
A shortlist of 10 films will be unveiled on December 16, 2019, and the chosen five official nominees will be announced on January 13, 2020. Antigone will open in Quebec on November 8.